Xaxis Unit Plista Names Elizabeth Harrington Head Of North America

Plista, the unit of Xaxis that specializes in native advertising technology, on Wednesday named Elizabeth Harrington head of North America, a new position.

Harrington will be responsible for growing plista’s global business in the U.S. and Canada. The Berlin-based plista launched native programmatic services in North America in May. Plista, which in a release, describes itself as a "one-stop solution for data-driven native advertising," is a programmatic platform for native ads and enables buying in-feed, outstream video, recommendation widgets, and in-ad formats across both desktop and mobile inventory.

Harrington joins plista from digital ad platform Local Yokel Media, where she was a founding member of the management team and served as SVP business development and publisher services. In that role, she helped grow the hyperlocal marketing platform into a national publisher network. Prior to Local Yokel, Harrington was VP, business development and strategic sales, at start-up Greenopia, an independent rating system for ecofriendly businesses, where she oversaw revenue strategy and new business development.

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Earlier in her career, Harrington held business development positions at companies including iVillage, JPMorgan Chase, and IMG. 

Harrington offered some perspective to Real-Time Daily on her new role:

RTD: What is your understanding of how plista works with Xaxis on behalf of clients? 

Harrington: Plista is focused on native advertising, and allows advertisers to programmatically buy virtually all native formats in a single space. The Xaxis relationship means plista advertisers can utilize proprietary data from Xaxis’ Turbine data management platform to programmatically direct their native campaigns.

This represents a big advance, as it allows advertisers to run and measure their native campaigns in full coordination with the rest of their digital spend.  By applying Turbine data to native formats, advertisers gain a significant edge in delivering engaging native content that better reflects audiences’ interests and intents as compared to using contextual data alone.

 RTD: What is your mandate?

Harrington: Growing our North American business, bringing competitive advantage and results to our clients are key areas I’m focused on.  I’ll be working with advertisers and media owners to continue to drive momentum for plista with the goal of increasing our North America market share in the native category.

I’m working with our Berlin headquarters and Xaxis on our North America roadmap and rollout. I’m focused on delivering a positive native advertising experience for our GroupM brands, and growing the publisher network. I’m currently building our New York team and work closely with the executive team in Berlin. I report to Greg Anderson, managing director, Xaxis Media Group.

RTD: How do you see the programmatic landscape shaking out?

Harrington: The general programmatic landscape is slowly shrinking as smaller, specialized companies are being acquired by the larger players to offer specialty services with the efficiencies of programmatic. As creative and programmatic slowly start to merge, brands will begin to benefit by conversing directly with consumers.  

The native programmatic landscape is growing significantly, with better technology, the use of data, more standardization, and strong and growing demand from brands. Two-thirds of marketers surveyed by the Association of National Advertisers in 2015 said they will increase their native ad budgets.

With the introduction of native formats within programmatic, advertisers now have an additional tool within their marketing set to engage users in a new way and reach more of the audience they’ve intended to target.

RTD: What are the biggest challenges that plista aims to solve for?

Harrington: Plista addresses challenges such as decreasing effectiveness of banner ads and ad blocking by capturing consumer attention with non-intrusive, engaging and shareable ads that encourage user interaction and build relationships with brand. It’s easy to use, consolidating all native formats into one platform where brands can monitor and effectively optimize all native advertising campaigns versus using multiple vendors.

The combination of one platform to optimize campaigns across all native formats, and across other digital channels, in addition to Turbine Audience data analytics that can go deeper into a brand’s understanding of its audience, leads to improved consumer interaction, engagement and better results.

RTD: What are the opportunities or prospects for programmatic native?

Harrington: The native industry is gaining scale. It is an exciting time for programmatic native, as it’s continuing to grow with the use of data. We believe data will drive the next generation for native.

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